Aston Villa have appointed Remi Garde as their new manager on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The Frenchman, 49, succeeds Tim Sherwood and will watch Villa’s match at Tottenham on Monday from the stands. Garde, who left Lyon in 2014 after three seasons, described joining the Premier League’s bottom club as an “unbelievable honour”. “Obviously we have a difficult task in front of us but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he added. Villa have slipped to six straight defeats in the league and, with just one win since the opening day of the season, the club sacked Sherwood after eight months in the job. Chairman Randy Lerner said: “Nobody at Villa can deny that we are way behind. We recruited aggressively this past summer and it is our responsibility to now harvest this talent rather than buckle under pressure and criticism – we are better than that. “Remi arrived with honesty, humour and a steely sense of what it will take for Aston Villa to be what it is meant to be – hard working, tireless, creative and unwilling to concede.” Garde was Arsene Wenger’s first signing as Arsenal manager in 1996 and he stayed at Arsenal until he retired in 1999.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been given a one-match stadium ban with immediate effect and also fined £40,000 by the Football Association. The punishment comes after Mourinho admitted a misconduct charge over his language and behaviour in the defeat by West Ham on 24 October. Mourinho, 52, was sent to the stands after going to speak to referee Jon Moss in his room at half-time. He will miss Chelsea’s league game at Stoke on Saturday, unless he appeals. Mourinho will receive the FA’s written reasons this week and, if he contests the punishment, he could still be on the bench at the Britannia Stadium. The stadium ban is separate to the suspended one he received along with a £50,000 fine for comments he made after the loss to Southampton on 3 October. The Portuguese described that fine as a “disgrace” and appealed. Mourinho’s assistant, Silvino Louro, was also charged by the FA after being dismissed during the match at West Ham in relation to his behaviour in the technical area. In a statement, the FA withdrew an improper conduct charge against Louro but reminded him of his responsibilities.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has pruned down the number of contenders for the 2015 African Player of the Year award to ten. Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama and Ahmed Musa who had been in the previous list of 37 players have both been dropped. Nigerian players used to dominate this list in the years past and it calls for sober reflection as to what is happening now. Current African Player of Year, Cote d’Ivoire’s Yaya Toure made the list of ten.
Andre Ayew (Ghana & Swansea)
Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia & Valencia)
Mudather Eltaib Ibrahim ‘Karika’ (Sudan & El Hilal)